US: Seeks explanation from Erdogan over possible veto of Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership


Washington is “working to clarify Turkey’s position” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to block the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said tonight.

The future membership of these two countries is widely supported by the other members of the Alliance, the spokeswoman stressed. Finland and Sweden can become members of NATO only if all its members vote unanimously in favor of their membership.

Erdogan’s statements were a chill for the process that has so far been supported by most member states, including the United States, as well as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who said he was ready to welcome the two countries “with open arms”.

The United States wants to “better understand Turkey’s position,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, noting that the country is a “valuable ally” in NATO and “that has not changed.”

“Turkey has been involved in and effective in trying to establish a dialogue between Russia and Ukraine and has provided assistance to Ukraine,” he added.

Erdogan said he did not want to “see the same mistake repeated as that committed during Greece’s accession” and accused Stockholm and Helsinki of “providing shelter to PKK terrorists” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

For some analysts, Turkey may want to gain a regular advantage in order to receive compensatory benefits from NATO member countries. Ankara mainly wants to buy American F-16 fighters as well as the necessary spare parts for the maintenance and modernization of the F-16 aircraft it already has. Turkey had also given $ 1.4 billion to acquire F-35 fighter jets, which were never delivered.

The United States froze the deal in 2019 after Turkey bought the S-400 anti-missile system from Russia, which is considered a threat to the F-35s. Washington then excluded Turkey from this program of developing state-of-the-art fighter jets.

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